Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A key facilitator of mRNA editing uncovered by researchers

Date:
February 6, 2014
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Molecular biologists have identified a protein that regulates the information present in a large number of messenger ribonucleic acid molecules that are important for carrying genetic information from DNA to protein synthesis.

Molecular biologists from Indiana University are part of a team that has identified a protein that regulates the information present in a large number of messenger ribonucleic acid molecules that are important for carrying genetic information from DNA to protein synthesis.

The new work, published today in Cell Reports, finds that the protein ADR-1 binds to messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, and then enhances RNA editing, a process that allows a gene to be present as multiple mRNAs that can then each affect gene expression differently.

Organisms ranging from sea anemone to humans utilize RNA editing to express different mRNAs at various times in development. Decreased mRNA editing has been reported in patients with neuropathological diseases like epilepsy, schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and several types of cancer, including glioblastomas (brain tumors).

Using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, the researchers identified over 400 new mRNA editing sites -- the majority regulated by ADR-1 -- and declared the protein the first global regulator of RNA editing.

"What we've determined is that this protein's ability to alter editing of mRNAs is not specific to just a few genes, but instead, its ability to bind to mRNAs is required for proper RNA editing of most mRNAs," said Michael C. Washburn, a graduate student in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology and first author on the paper with Boyko Kakaradov of the University of California, San Diego.

Working in the laboratory of Heather A. Hundley, corresponding author on the paper and an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the IU School of Medicine's Medical Sciences Program at Bloomington, Washburn and undergraduate Medical Sciences program student Emily Wheeler collaborated with the team from UCSD to show that the region of ADR-1 protein that binds to target mRNAs in C. elegans is also required for regulating editing. This region is present in many human proteins, and a protein similar to ADR-1 is specifically expressed in human neurons.

"So it is likely that a similar mechanism exists to regulate editing in humans," Hundley said. "Further work in our lab will be aimed at understanding the detailed mechanism of how these proteins regulate editing, in turn providing an inroad to developing therapeutics that modulate editing for the treatment of human diseases."

C. elegans is a microscopic worm that like humans highly expresses a family of proteins in the nervous system called ADARs -- adenosine deaminases that act on RNA -- a family that includes ADR-1.

ADARs change specific nucleotides (molecular building blocks for DNA and RNA) in RNA, in a process called adenosine-to-inosine editing, or A-to-I editing, that diversifies genetic information to specify different amino acids, splice sites and structures. Scientists currently estimate there are between 400,000 and 1 million A-to-I editing events in noncoding regions of the human transcriptome.

While newly synthesized RNA encodes the exact information found in DNA, it's when later RNA editing occurs that RNA gets altered, a change most often catalyzed by ADARs.

"One thing we also know is that ADAR protein levels are not altered in disease, implying that other mechanisms are also at work regulating ADAR-mediated RNA editing," Hundley said. "By identifying this major regulator of noncoding editing in C. elegans we can now focus on dissecting the regulatory mechanism and determining the conservation of this regulatory protein in human cells."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. MichaelC. Washburn, Boyko Kakaradov, Balaji Sundararaman, Emily Wheeler, Shawn Hoon, GeneW. Yeo, HeatherA. Hundley. The dsRBP and Inactive Editor ADR-1Utilizes dsRNA Binding to Regulate A-to-I RNA Editing across the C.elegans Transcriptome. Cell Reports, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.01.011

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "A key facilitator of mRNA editing uncovered by researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206133909.htm>.
Indiana University. (2014, February 6). A key facilitator of mRNA editing uncovered by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206133909.htm
Indiana University. "A key facilitator of mRNA editing uncovered by researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206133909.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins